Helping people in need all over the world, irrespective of age, gender and religion.
Thirty Taiwanese established this charitable organisation in 1966, by setting aside part of their daily housekeeping money. It has since grown into one of Taiwan’s largest philanthropic organisations. In 1985 it began to support charitable work overseas and now has branches in 38 countries.
In 1991, Tzu-Chi assisted with humanitarian aid when China faced a major flood disaster in the central provinces, notably Anhui. Since then, the foundation has helped in more than 10 Chinese provinces.
In providing clothes, food, seed and economic support, in building schools and hospitals and in encouraging educational and cultural activities. Further, in Wuhan, Tzu-Chi Foundation built its first welfare centre for children.
The Tzu-Chi Marrow Donor Registry was founded in 1993. Nowadays, the registry is collecting data from 250,000 volunteer donors, a world record. It is one of the largest Chinese marrow donor data banks, benefiting more than 10 countries all over the world.
In Taiwan, over 1,000 volunteers have been involved in recycling paper and bottles, sorting trash and promoting the concept of environmental protection. According to surveys, the foundation has collected and sold recyclable materials worth over NT$160 million (US$ 6 million) since 1990. The paper they have recycled is equal to 360,000 twenty-year old trees.
In 1996, the foundation’s Chairman, Master Cheng Yen, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and awarded the Eisenhower Medallion for her contributions to world peace.
In 2006 and 2008, Tzu-Chi received China Charity Awards from the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China for its work in promoting the wellbeing of society and relieving the suffering of the needy and in 2010 Tzu-Chi opened China’s first overseas NGO office.
In recognition of its work for nearly 20 years, the government authorised Tzu-Chi to establish a nationwide charity foundation, the first and until now the only overseas non-profit organisation to receive such permission. The registration will enable the foundation to take greater responsibilities and play a more active role in disaster relief and charity work in China. Since it’s founding, the foundation has continued charity work in the towns it helped to rebuild. This has included houses for more than 4,400 families, more than 50 schools, homes for the aged, women’s and children’s centres, and a hospital and free clinics for the sick and needy. In addition, it has shared with local people its humanistic values, such as “giving with gratitude” and “constantly showing filial piety to parents and kindness to all human beings”.
In 2012 Tzu-Chi also set up recycling centres in Kunshan East China, Tzu-Chi also holds annual winter distributions in China in Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hubei, Anhui, Hebei and Hainan provinces. This is the first time that Tzu-Chi has held distributions in Shanghai and Guangxi. They will help 173,000 people, including low-income families, the disabled and elderly people living alone.